Hamilton's reopening plan paints 'new reality'

News May 23, 2020 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

Hamilton’s “new reality” will see transit riders encouraged to wear masks, city staff working from home, residents accessing the city’s website for some services and councillors continuing to participate in virtual meetings.

These are just a few of what emergency operations centre director Paul Johnson and his staff are proposing in a 58-page document called “Hamilton Reopens.” The report will be reviewed by councillors on May 27.

“Some things won’t change for a very long time,” said Johnson during a May 22 media briefing. “Things will remain virtual. Things will remain done in different ways. Life is going to be a little bit different.”

Johnson said during the May 20 virtual town hall meeting that residents should be prepared for a “new reality” that is considerably changed from what it was in January and February.

The report reveals a three-stage reopening strategy divided into categories – the early stages, gradual recovery and “our new reality” – but provides no timelines on when the stages begin or end. Currently, the city is in the early stages of reopening.

Johnson said the city’s reopening document will be guided by provincial decisions and what public health officials recommend.

Mayor Fred Eisenberger announced on May 22 that skateboard parks, tennis and pickleball courts and municipal golf courses were open. Last week, private golf courses, dog parks and retail stores with curbside access were allowed to open by provincial officials in what they are calling a "Stage 1 reopening plan."

The mayor reiterated that the city’s waterfalls remain closed to the public. He lamented that the public continues to congregate at Albion Falls and the Devil’s Punchbowl, forcing bylaw officials to issue tickets.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford said during his briefing on May 21 that he was “concerned” that the province is recording high daily levels of coronavirus cases. Ford has said he “wouldn’t hesitate” to shut down reopening measures across the province.

After 10 days of daily case counts below 400 in Ontario, health officials saw them rise to 427 on May 19, before dipping back to 390 on May 20 and then spiking to 400 on May 21.

Hamilton’s cases are now at 613 as of May 23, after the jump in positive cases from the Rosslyn Retirement Home. The city has seen 415 cases resolved, and there have been 30 deaths.

The reopening report states that “living in a world where COVID-19 is present in our community means that many City services must be accessed and delivered in new and different ways.”

The city will be enforcing physical distancing measures, providing personal protective equipment where required, screening employees before working and putting up proper signage for the public to follow whenever city-owned facilities reopen.

The document continues to encourage bus passengers to wear masks, and the city will maintain “enhanced” safety measures such as requiring people to enter and exit from the rear of the vehicle. The service will be dictated by how many people are using it. Currently, there is a maximum of 10 people allowed on a bus.

The report will require some staff to work at home, and there will be a gradual reopening of parks and amenities, halls, recreation centres and fields. But as long as the province continues with its emergency orders prohibiting gatherings of more than five people, council and committee meetings will be conducted virtually. The city is studying how to conduct virtual planning and committee of adjustment meetings to ease the backlog of applications.

The report also recommends “new and innovative ways” to engage with the community, while at the same time reopening some services such as the small business desk on first floor of city hall and the visitor’s centre in the Lister Block.

Johnson said that services such as long-term-care facilities, child care and providing for the homeless will not return to pre-coronavirus measures because of the health threat that the pandemic imposes against these vulnerable people.

Eisenberger called the plan a “road map” that will help officials plan on how to reopen services and engage with the public again.

“This is about a plan of change and modification,” said Eisenberger.

Hamilton's reopening plan includes virtual meetings, masks and working from home

News May 23, 2020 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

Hamilton’s “new reality” will see transit riders encouraged to wear masks, city staff working from home, residents accessing the city’s website for some services and councillors continuing to participate in virtual meetings.

These are just a few of what emergency operations centre director Paul Johnson and his staff are proposing in a 58-page document called “Hamilton Reopens.” The report will be reviewed by councillors on May 27.

“Some things won’t change for a very long time,” said Johnson during a May 22 media briefing. “Things will remain virtual. Things will remain done in different ways. Life is going to be a little bit different.”

Johnson said during the May 20 virtual town hall meeting that residents should be prepared for a “new reality” that is considerably changed from what it was in January and February.

Related Content

The report reveals a three-stage reopening strategy divided into categories – the early stages, gradual recovery and “our new reality” – but provides no timelines on when the stages begin or end. Currently, the city is in the early stages of reopening.

Johnson said the city’s reopening document will be guided by provincial decisions and what public health officials recommend.

Mayor Fred Eisenberger announced on May 22 that skateboard parks, tennis and pickleball courts and municipal golf courses were open. Last week, private golf courses, dog parks and retail stores with curbside access were allowed to open by provincial officials in what they are calling a "Stage 1 reopening plan."

The mayor reiterated that the city’s waterfalls remain closed to the public. He lamented that the public continues to congregate at Albion Falls and the Devil’s Punchbowl, forcing bylaw officials to issue tickets.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford said during his briefing on May 21 that he was “concerned” that the province is recording high daily levels of coronavirus cases. Ford has said he “wouldn’t hesitate” to shut down reopening measures across the province.

After 10 days of daily case counts below 400 in Ontario, health officials saw them rise to 427 on May 19, before dipping back to 390 on May 20 and then spiking to 400 on May 21.

Hamilton’s cases are now at 613 as of May 23, after the jump in positive cases from the Rosslyn Retirement Home. The city has seen 415 cases resolved, and there have been 30 deaths.

The reopening report states that “living in a world where COVID-19 is present in our community means that many City services must be accessed and delivered in new and different ways.”

The city will be enforcing physical distancing measures, providing personal protective equipment where required, screening employees before working and putting up proper signage for the public to follow whenever city-owned facilities reopen.

The document continues to encourage bus passengers to wear masks, and the city will maintain “enhanced” safety measures such as requiring people to enter and exit from the rear of the vehicle. The service will be dictated by how many people are using it. Currently, there is a maximum of 10 people allowed on a bus.

The report will require some staff to work at home, and there will be a gradual reopening of parks and amenities, halls, recreation centres and fields. But as long as the province continues with its emergency orders prohibiting gatherings of more than five people, council and committee meetings will be conducted virtually. The city is studying how to conduct virtual planning and committee of adjustment meetings to ease the backlog of applications.

The report also recommends “new and innovative ways” to engage with the community, while at the same time reopening some services such as the small business desk on first floor of city hall and the visitor’s centre in the Lister Block.

Johnson said that services such as long-term-care facilities, child care and providing for the homeless will not return to pre-coronavirus measures because of the health threat that the pandemic imposes against these vulnerable people.

Eisenberger called the plan a “road map” that will help officials plan on how to reopen services and engage with the public again.

“This is about a plan of change and modification,” said Eisenberger.

Hamilton's reopening plan includes virtual meetings, masks and working from home

News May 23, 2020 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

Hamilton’s “new reality” will see transit riders encouraged to wear masks, city staff working from home, residents accessing the city’s website for some services and councillors continuing to participate in virtual meetings.

These are just a few of what emergency operations centre director Paul Johnson and his staff are proposing in a 58-page document called “Hamilton Reopens.” The report will be reviewed by councillors on May 27.

“Some things won’t change for a very long time,” said Johnson during a May 22 media briefing. “Things will remain virtual. Things will remain done in different ways. Life is going to be a little bit different.”

Johnson said during the May 20 virtual town hall meeting that residents should be prepared for a “new reality” that is considerably changed from what it was in January and February.

Related Content

The report reveals a three-stage reopening strategy divided into categories – the early stages, gradual recovery and “our new reality” – but provides no timelines on when the stages begin or end. Currently, the city is in the early stages of reopening.

Johnson said the city’s reopening document will be guided by provincial decisions and what public health officials recommend.

Mayor Fred Eisenberger announced on May 22 that skateboard parks, tennis and pickleball courts and municipal golf courses were open. Last week, private golf courses, dog parks and retail stores with curbside access were allowed to open by provincial officials in what they are calling a "Stage 1 reopening plan."

The mayor reiterated that the city’s waterfalls remain closed to the public. He lamented that the public continues to congregate at Albion Falls and the Devil’s Punchbowl, forcing bylaw officials to issue tickets.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford said during his briefing on May 21 that he was “concerned” that the province is recording high daily levels of coronavirus cases. Ford has said he “wouldn’t hesitate” to shut down reopening measures across the province.

After 10 days of daily case counts below 400 in Ontario, health officials saw them rise to 427 on May 19, before dipping back to 390 on May 20 and then spiking to 400 on May 21.

Hamilton’s cases are now at 613 as of May 23, after the jump in positive cases from the Rosslyn Retirement Home. The city has seen 415 cases resolved, and there have been 30 deaths.

The reopening report states that “living in a world where COVID-19 is present in our community means that many City services must be accessed and delivered in new and different ways.”

The city will be enforcing physical distancing measures, providing personal protective equipment where required, screening employees before working and putting up proper signage for the public to follow whenever city-owned facilities reopen.

The document continues to encourage bus passengers to wear masks, and the city will maintain “enhanced” safety measures such as requiring people to enter and exit from the rear of the vehicle. The service will be dictated by how many people are using it. Currently, there is a maximum of 10 people allowed on a bus.

The report will require some staff to work at home, and there will be a gradual reopening of parks and amenities, halls, recreation centres and fields. But as long as the province continues with its emergency orders prohibiting gatherings of more than five people, council and committee meetings will be conducted virtually. The city is studying how to conduct virtual planning and committee of adjustment meetings to ease the backlog of applications.

The report also recommends “new and innovative ways” to engage with the community, while at the same time reopening some services such as the small business desk on first floor of city hall and the visitor’s centre in the Lister Block.

Johnson said that services such as long-term-care facilities, child care and providing for the homeless will not return to pre-coronavirus measures because of the health threat that the pandemic imposes against these vulnerable people.

Eisenberger called the plan a “road map” that will help officials plan on how to reopen services and engage with the public again.

“This is about a plan of change and modification,” said Eisenberger.